Fort Augustus


Fort Augustus is located at the southwestern end of Loch Ness, at the point where Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal meet. The village grew up around the fort built by General Wade in 1730, which was, in the 19th Century, incorporated into a Benedictine Monastery. Popular with tourists, the village offers several fine hotels, places to eat, and things to see including the ancient Fort Augustus Abbey, the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre, and the Clansmen Centre - a recreation of a traditional Highland "Blackhouse", where visitors can sample 17th century Highland life. A short drive north along the banks of Loch Ness on the A82 is located Castle Urquhart.

Fort Augustus benefitted from one of the first hydro-electric schemes in Scotland when, in 1890, the Benedictine monks installed an 18 kW turbine to supply their abbey and distributed the excess power to their secular neighbours. This continued until the nationalisation of the electricity industry in 1948. A branch of the Highland Railway opened in 1903, running through a station in the village, over the Caledonian Canal and River Oich, to terminate at another station by a pier on Loch Ness. The final section, which would have completed the line to through Inverness, was never completed and consequently the railway was not a success. The station at the pier closed in 1924, while the railway closed in 1947. The remains of the village station now lie within the grounds of Kilchuimen Academy, a small secondary school built in 1968.

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